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* Residents file petition at Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission against demolition of their houses
Fri, Dec 13, 2013, 09:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 13, Colombo: A group of residents in a suburb of the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo has filed a petition at the Human Rights Commission against the demolition of their houses.

The residents, belonged to the Organization for Protecting the Ownership of Houses in Wanathamulla, have filed a Fundamental Rights (FR) petition at the Commission against the demolition of their houses in the Wanathamulla area.

Wanathamulla is one of Colombo's largest shanty areas and the government has undertaken a project to remove the shanties from the capital city as a part of the Colombo metropolitan development program.

Legal adviser of the organization, Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala told the media that the FR petition had been drafted as the Urban Development Authority (UDA) had issued application forms to enable the residents of the said area in Wanathamulla to apply for new houses.

The residents have also been asked to pay Rs 50,000 when they are submitting the application form.

Watagala said the residents have the original deeds for the lands they had occupied and the lands are valued at Rs 3 million (per plot).

He has questioned as to why the residents have to pay an additional Rs 50,000 to obtain alternate accommodation and a specific monthly accommodation fee after giving up their own lands.

The residents in Wanathamulla have objected to the government's move and the organization has decided to take the matter before the Human Rights Commission.

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